March 17 2014 Latest news:
Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Thursday, January 23, 2014
The magic number is 103 for one sprightly resident who reached that remarkable age last week.
Doris Veale celebrated her milestone with 24 relatives and friends at a buffet and party at her Gidea Park home.
The guests included her numerous nieces and nephews, who are her most immediate family as she did not have children with late husband Harold.
Sylvia Towler, 75, one such niece, said: “It was lovely. There were about three generations of family and friends there, which was nice.
“Everyone bought Doris presents and flowers and she had a wonderful time.”
Doris has lived in Gidea Park since approximately 1958. Not only does she have her nieces and nephews for company, but also her neighbours who are “very good to her”.
She also has many other friends who live locally.
Doris was born in Kensington, west London, in 1911, leaving school at 14.
She met her husband in 1932 and enjoyed “58 happy years” with him until he sadly died.
Her life has included doing office work during the Second World War.
Sylvia, who lives in Essex, said: “She didn’t really have a [specific] career; it was more working for the war effort. In those days you did what you were told to do!”
Throughout her time in Havering, Doris has also been involved in a variety of groups.
She was a member of the Squirrel’s Heath Floral Art Club for more than 30 years and involved with the townswomen’s guild movement for about six years.
“She was a very active lady and she still is,” said Sylvia. “She still goes to the hairdressers every week.”
But does she believe there is a reason for Doris’ longevity?
“I presume she’s worked hard and played hard!” she said. “We will absolutely have another party for her 104th.”